HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield calls Aziz Ansari story ‘sloppy and reckless’

Posted Friday, January 19, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The back and forth over the story regarding a date gone wrong between Aziz Ansari and an unnamed woman continues unabated.

Atlanta-based HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield has been one of the more high-profile critics of the reporter Katie Way and the publication Babe.net over how it was written and reported.

She did so earlier this week on her HLN show and again on Megyn Kelly’s “Today” show hour today.

“We work for reputable organizations. We vet these things so meticulously,” she told Kelly. “That [article] would never have seen the light of day in our news organizations, but the conversation you’re talking about is important.”

Banfield, 50, is clearly not a fan of 22-year-old Way or the publication:

“Let’s be clear: We need to consider the source here, as well. Just a month prior, the headline from this organization and this writer was ‘Your drunk food choices and what kind of hoe they make you.’”

“This was launched in a sloppy and reckless way,” she added.

Earlier on HLN, she had said directly to Way: “What you have done in my opinion is appalling, you have gone to the press with a story of a bad date and you have potentially destroyed this man’s career over it…. You have chiseled away at a movement that I along with all of my sisters in the workplace have been dreaming of for decades.”

Banfield, by the way, added that she is not Pro Aziz Ansari in this situation: “I am not Aziz Ansari’s defender, and I have said from the beginning I am not his defender. I said it was disgusting what he did.”

Way later sent Banfield a nasty email mocking her age and looks while rejecting an offer to be on Banfield’s show, which airs 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. “Ashleigh (?), someone who I am certain nobody under the age of 45 has ever heard of… I hope the 500 retweets on the single news write-up made that burgundy-lipstick, bad-highlights, second-wave-feminist has-been really relevant for a little while,” Way wrote, in part. (Read the entire email here.) For Banfield, it just solidified her position that Way was way over her head.

“We do not attack people for their age, or their highlights or their lipstick because it is the most hypocritical thing a woman who says she supports the women’s movement could ever do and that’s the caliber of the woman who was given all of this power and was able to wield this power,” Banfield said.


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